Monday, 19 February, 2018

S.Africa's ANC divided on Zuma's destiny: social gathering official

Many analysts feel South Africa's president Jacob Zuma will step down imminently. Mujahid Safodien  AFP Many analysts feel South Africa's president Jacob Zuma will step down imminently. Mujahid Safodien AFP
| 07 February, 2018, 02:08

Zuma now faces the toughest test yet, when he is scheduled Wednesday to face the party's National Executive Committee, which has the authority to recall the president, but can not actually force him to resign.

He was already replaced as ANC party chief in December by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is seen as Zuma's political heir apparent.

However, Mr Zuma still has his supporters within the ANC - including at least two of the top six - so nothing is definite.

And the one thing that has not been cancelled is Wednesday's meeting of the only African National Congress (ANC) body with the power to remove him.

However, Zuma refused to step down, telling the party's leadership that he had done nothing wrong. Zuma's tenure officially runs until mid-2019. The BBC reports that, nonetheless, commentators say the ANC's popularity is declining because of the corruption allegations.

He has faced several allegations of corruption.

Party leaders may be trying to oust Zuma before his scheduled State of the Nation address on February 8. A series of leaked emails previous year suggested the Gupta family, who are friends of Zuma and in business with his son, had advance knowledge of Nene's firing and influenced other cabinet appointments. The ANC will again meet over the matter of Zuma's exit on Wednesday. They have no business if they are not members of the ANC to march and determine what the ANC must do.


Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing, though the president paid back some money for the home upgrades after the Constitutional Court ruled against him. The latter is meant to set the government agenda for the year.

"A vote of no-confidence is not desirable, under any circumstances", ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte told a news conference that senior party officials said.

"Ours is to defend our property which is Luthuli House, but these ones that are coming here, we will be ready for them", she said.

Opposition parties and civil society groups have renewed calls for Zuma to step down, while yet another motion of no confidence in Zuma is scheduled to be debated in Parliament on February 22.

However, those loyal to Mr Zuma say the serving president should complete his second and final term in office, which would end when elections are held next year.

In a statement, the ANC said the meeting would discuss the "management of the transition" between the Zuma administration and the next one.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation urged Mr Zuma to step down.

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